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Rochester Marine receives coveted Leftwich Trophy

Middendorf Capt. Benjamin.jpg
Capt. Benjamin Middendorf

Capt. Benjamin M. Middendorf, a Rochester native, is being honored with the Marine Corps highest award for a Marine officer serving with a ground combat unit.

The Lt. Col. William Leftwich Jr. Trophy for Outstanding Leadership is given annually in honor of Leftwich, a Navy Cross recipient, who died in 1970 when his helicopter crashed in Vietnam. He was the commander of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.

Middendorf was nominated for the award last year by his fellow company commanders in Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, at the conclusion of their seven-month deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

As the company commander of infantry Marines, Middendorf was responsible for about 300 Marines and sailors as well as their weapons, gear and vehicles. From training and communication, to supply and logistics, Middendorf ensured his Marines were continuously equipped and ready to fight, according to the Marines Blog .

Middendorf continues to lead Marines as the company of Headquarters and Service Co., 5th Marine Regiment. He is slated to receive the Leftwich Trophy later this year.

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